I received a LOT of response from my appearance on EWTN’s The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. One letter arrived with this comment, which is followed by my response.
QUESTION FOR STEVE:
1 Corinthians 1:1:10-17 demonstrates that there was division among the churches and the the four groups were all acceptable. Additionally, the Roman Catholic Church did not exist until centuries later. Help me undersatnd why the RCC is now the only true church?
Also, not all “Seperated Brothers” do not believe that the sacrament of the table is just bread… John from Indiana
John: Thanks for watching and thanks for asking this good question. I hope that my straight forward answer is not taken in an offensive manner. I am simply responding honestly from the heart in the few minutes I have available right now.
Yes, First Corinthians demonstrates that the church in Corinth had factions but they were roundly condemned, as are all divisions, schisms and factions in the one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
Why do you think they were acceptable? Paul clearly condemns factions (denominations).
Jesus makes his desire known for one, visibly unified Church as well in John 17:23: “I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.”
With all the splits and division among the Protest-ants it “proves” to the world the Father did NOT send the Son. I say this with tongue in cheek since – if the world concludes the Father sent the Sin because of Christians’ visible unity, what conclusions might they draw for a Christianity afflicted by multiple competing factions and sects?
And when Jesus says, “If you brother offends you … take it to THE Church” — which church did he mean?
The name you mention “Roman Catholic Church” is NOT the name of the universal Church Jesus founded. One needs to be precise in such things.
The name of the Church now and from the first century is “Catholic Church”. Roman is simply one rite among many all in union with Rome and under the successor of Peter.
St. Ignatius of Antioch was eaten by lions in 106 AD. He was a disciple of Paul, Peter and John long before the New Testament was collected into a book. In 106 AD he wrote as an old man “Wheresoever the bishop appears, there let the people be, even as wheresoever Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
Catholic was the name of the Church from the 1st century. I don’t see anywhere for the first 1500 years we see names such as “Baptist church”, Lutheran Church, Assemblies of God, …
You are correct that not all separated brethren believe that the Eucharist is just bread, but precious few believe it actually CHANGES into the Body and Blood of Christ — and those without priests in the Apostolic Succession celebrate the “Eucharist” without realizing that their pastors are no longer able to consecrate the bread and wine.
I appreciate you taking the time to write. if you are serious about learning more about these matters, I suggest you read my book Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church along with Crossing the Tiber in which the last third deals with the Eucharist in the Scriptures and early Church — as well as the biblical concept of ONE CHURCH.